In December 1916, in view of the growing losses of British ships to combat, it was decided to begin an extensive shipbuilding program for the Government. The new ships were to be of a simple, standard type. The prefix to their names was to be WAR. After the Armistice in 1918, many ships under construction were sold and completed to their owners specifications. Excluding orders to United States shipyards, 821 vessels were ordered from U.K. yards and abroad. 416 were completed for the Government. 279 were sold and transferred to private owners before completion and the remainder were cancelled. During WW I, 14 were lost, but in WWII large numbers of these ships were lost.
Type B Standard Cargo Ships specifications were:
|Years Completed:||1918-1919 (majority).|
|Gross Tonnage:||5,030-tons (nominal).|
|Dimensions:||412' x 52' x 27’.5"|
|Propulsion:||Coal fired, triple expansion reciprocating steam engines, 517 nominal h.p., 1-shaft, cruising speed 10.5 knots|